After more than 18 years as CEO & President of United Way of King County, Jon Fine has announced his retirement. During Jon’s tenure, he’s led the organization in so many accomplishments that we thought we’d share our top 10 reasons we’ll miss Jon with you.
10. Leading efforts to close out the Gates Challenge endowment. This $30M outright gift plus a $55M community fundraising challenge from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was the largest endowment of its kind for any United Way—and Jon led the efforts in energizing volunteers and donors to meet the challenge. The result? On average, 94 cents of every dollar donated goes to meet community needs.
9. Long-term solutions to fighting homelessness. United Way has long led efforts to end homelessness. Long before the state of emergency was declared, we provided support for 2,241 units of permanent supportive housing created in our community.
8. Launching an Emergency Response for Basic Need Fund. Launched in 2008, this fund met the needs of people affected by the Great Recession. More than $1M was raised for the fund, including $380,000 from an ambitious, one-of-a-kind fundraiser… (See #7!)
7. He made climbing Mt. Rainier look easy. To raise money and awareness for families having a hard time making ends meet, in 2009 Jon joined board member Molly Nordstrom, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the Climb for Community.
6. Scaling the Parent-Child Home Program to serve 1,300 families. He led the efforts to grow this fantastic school-readiness program for 2- and 3-year-old kids from a demonstration project of 160 families to a county-wide effort. The result? More low-income kiddos getting a strong start!
5. Seeing his bike in the lobby. Rain or shine, Jon rode his bike to the United Way offices. And, often, to donor meetings. He was often the sole person in the room with “hat head”.
4. Innovative partnerships with the business community. The recent investment in eviction prevention—a catalyst gift from the Seattle Mariners to help keep people in their homes—is just one example of the great partnerships we’ve been part of.
3. Internal campaign shenanigans. If you only know Jon’s CEO side, it may surprise you to know that he’s a total ham. We’ll miss him cruising the office in the Cash Cab and starring in silly videos during the United Way’s own campaign – all in the name of raising money for the community.
2. Helping youth get their education back on track. United Way is helping young people finish their education—the Reconnecting Youth program helps with 1:1 mentoring and educational coaching. The program operates in 15 sites and nearly 10,000 young people have been served.
1. Challenging us to think big. Jon likes big numbers—an event with 1,000 people? Are we sure we can’t make it 3,000? 9,000 young professionals engaged in the community? Are we sure we can’t double it? Helping 50,000 people break the cycle of poverty? Let’s do more. We’ll miss his big thinking and big ideas.
But what will Jon miss most? He recently told KOMO 4 news, “I’ll miss the people and the work. We have a great staff, board and group of volunteers—it’s gratifying to work with such talented and passionate people. And I’ll miss the people that we help—the team has had a positive impact on so many people who need help.”
Board member Carol Nelson will lead the search for Jon’s replacement and Jon will remain on board until that person is hired.
Thanks for 18+ years Jon!